HOUSTON A man pleaded guilty Monday to hitting and killing a Bleyl Middle School student as she got off her school bus two years ago.
Police said John Jacob Winne was drunk when he ranthree stop signsnear East Cypress Forest and Lynn Drive, crashed into the bus and ran over 13-year-old Nicole Lalime.
Winne was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for intoxication manslaughter and 10 years forfailure to stop and render aid.
State District Judge Joan Campbell said the prison terms are concurrent, and Winne will not be eligible for parole for at least 15 years.
Clutching a photo of her daughter, Nicole s mother delivered a tearful impact statement in court Monday as family and friends looked on.
Valoree Lalime said Nicole s death has been devastating for her family, but that she has forgiven Winne.
If she would ve been here today, Mr. Winne, I know what she would ve said. And that is that we need to forgive you, and we do forgive you, but forgiveness, that doesn t mean you shouldn t be held accountable, Lalime said.
As part of his plea deal, Winne must keep a photo of the victim in his cell at all times.
More than any of this, we will live forever with a hole in our lives and hearts, Valoree Lalime said.
Nicole s older sister, Michelle Mahmoud, tearfully recounted how the tragedy has impacted her 4-year-old son.
My son, he really does think my sister is mad at him, because she won t come back to see him, Mahmoud said.
After hitting Lalime, police said Winne did not stop to offer assistance.
They said they found him hiding behind a nearby home a short time later.
It wasn t his first alcohol-related arrest. Winne had a previous conviction for driving while intoxicated with a child under 15.
Winne s attorney, Sean McAlister, said his client was remorseful and called Nicole s death a tragedy.
After Nicole s death, the Lalime family helped push through the Nicole Lily Lalime Act, which requires blood alcohol testing for any drunk-driving suspect involved in an accident where someone is sent to the hospital.
State Senator Dan Patrick said the act also requires blood alcohol testing for any drunk-driving suspect with two prior DWI convictions or with a single prior DWI arrest with a child in the car.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.